Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative warns of ‘shut off’ scams

Business News is sponsored by Blue Ridge Bank:

~ Press release issued by Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative on May 21

ROCKINGHAMShenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative advises members to be aware of scam calls in which callers are demanding payment immediately or else threatening that power will be shut off.

The cooperative would like to remind members that our employees will never call members and demand immediate payment by phone.

In one recent example of a reported scam, the caller tried to pressure a member into paying money because the member supposedly had an old meter installed.

Another indication that a call might be from scammers is that they ask for a certain type of payment – perhaps insisting you provide them with one or more debit cards.

“First and foremost, we want our members to know that no representative of the cooperative will ever mention a specific credit card or payment method, and our employees will only communicate about potential termination of electric service with members through a mailed notification, not through a phone call asking the member to pay for their service by credit card,” says J. Michael Aulgur, SVEC Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.

“Unfortunately, during this pandemic virus when people are already feeling additional stress on their daily lives, scammers are trying to take advantage of others,” “We want our members to be aware that correspondence of this nature will not be generated by the cooperative.”

It’s important to note that, by State Corporation Commission order, SVEC is not currently disconnecting service for non-payment because of the pandemic virus.

If members have any questions about their account, please call 1-800-234-7832 for more information. That 800-number is the only toll-free number associated with SVEC.

Additionally, if you suffer a financial loss as a result of a scam call, please contact law enforcement immediately.

Chartered in 1936, SVEC serves approximately 97,000 meters in the counties of Augusta, Clarke, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Warren and the city of Winchester. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative was the first electric cooperative chartered in Virginia.

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